Out and About – Week of April 11th

As you travel the major highways around the county, you’ll probably notice the volunteers out picking up the litter alongside the highway. I’m pretty sure that this last weekend was the first of three times that volunteers pick up the litter each year. They are easy to identify, because they should be wearing iridescent green vests. They usually have a week between two weekends to do this much-needed task. The stretch of highway they work is usually a mile in length. You have no idea how long a mile is until you’ve walked it. When you see these volunteers, slow down, give them some space, and thank them for what they do by tooting your horn, or giving them a friendly wave. Wouldn’t it be great if no one littered, and everyone disposed of their own trash? Then these volunteers in green would be able to spend more time with their families and not out cleaning up after the uncaring.

This must be spring, because Mike, the Weenie King, is back at the Three Rivers Public Library at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Douglas. I had my first dog of spring this last weekend, and it was great to welcome Mike and Glenn back to the neighborhood. Stop by sometime during your lunch hour and tell him that I sent you.

While on the subject of the arrival of spring and warmer weather, one would think that the need for shelter from the elements would have diminished a little. Not so. Last spring, Open Arms, the weekend homeless shelter, which is housed at the First United Methodist Church in Three Rivers, planned to close its doors until late last fall. They were just gearing down, when the number needing shelter increased. As a result, they have remained open every weekend year round. The roster of willing volunteers has grown and shrunk over the past year, and right now the number of volunteers is at a low. Open Arms is in need of some fresh volunteers to work at the shelter for a four-hour shift. Helping those less fortunate than yourself is a good way to realize how fortunate you are. If you can spare a few hours every week, give Jon Ritter a call at (269)432-2701. By volunteering, you might make life just a little less stressed for someone who is struggling with our poor economy. Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. My motto is, “Volunteer……the world is run by those who show up.” Give Jon Ritter a call. It’s a call he’ll be happy to receive and one you’ll never regret.

Memorial Day is next month. It is a day for a parade and a ceremony at Riverside Cemetery, where we will remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and died for their country. Riverside Cemetery is a city park worth visiting. There are two groups responsible for making sure that the cemetery is maintained in a fashion that would make you proud. The Cemetery Board makes suggestions and recommendations that contribute to the overall maintenance of the property. A newly formed group, The Friends of Riverside Cemetery, Inc., referred to as FORCI, a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation, was founded on June 22, 2010. The primary purpose of the Corporation is to preserve, update, and maintain Riverside Cemetery. There is a project underway that is rapidly moving from the planning stages into reality. The project is the Armstrong Founders Memorial. A drawing of this memorial is now on display at the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, 57 North Main Street, Three Rivers. The next time you’re in the area, stop in and check it out. I’ll have more information in a later column on how you can be an important part of this memorial.

In case you are unaware, George Cole has been selected by the Three Rivers Lions Club as this year’s Citizen of the Year. A celebration banquet will be held at A Place in Time, in Three Rivers, on Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 6 P.M. Tickets are $20/person and may be purchased at Southwestern Michigan Bank & Trust, 88 North Main Street, in Three Rivers. The contact person is Sally Cotton. Tickets are going fast, so be sure to secure yours as soon as possible. By the way, tickets will not be available at the door. Make plans to attend this “Roast and Toast” celebration for George Cole.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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